Kenya, Japan sign Sh25bn deal for Mombasa port expansion

Cargo handling at the port of Mombasa.
Cargo handling at the port of Mombasa. PHOTO/NEW TIMES
Kenya and Japan on Friday signed a Sh24.6bn ($270 million) loan deal to finance the second phase of Mombasa port expansion.

The funds, which will be granted through the Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), will be used to establish a new container terminal by rehabilitation of West Kipevu to create three extra berths.

Phase two of the Mombasa port expansion project includes construction of a new port access road connecting the new container terminal with the existing Port Reitz Road that leads to Nairobi and inland bound highways.

The new access road is expected to have a capacity of 750,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.

A new railway station with four rail lines mounted with gantry cranes will also be established. The facility will include a waiting area for trucks and a washing and repair zone.

The project will also include the expansion of Port Reitz and Airport roads and drenching of access channel connecting the new terminal and open sea.

Mombasa port, which handles imports and exports for Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and DR Congo, attained a container traffic of one million TEUS in 2014 – a 12 per cent increase compared to a year earlier.

The first phase is expected to be completed by March 2016, while the second and third phases are scheduled for completion by 2019 and 2023 respectively.

READ: Mombasa container terminal set for March 2016 completion

The initial phase is funded by a Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The Kenya Ports Authority, which is in charge of managing the facility, recently disclosed that the project is 70 per cent complete.